Friday, June 22, 2012

Essential Prospecting Strategies in Commercial Real Estate Agency Today

business man in coat with bag walking in street
Develop your prospecting plan as a commercial real estate agent

It is no secret that the commercial and retail property market is quite a challenge at the moment.  If you work as a real estate agent or salesperson in the industry, it is essential that you develop a clear strategy and system to support you with your prospecting and negotiation.  Here are some tips from our bulletin for Commercial and Retail Property Agents.

Systemised salespeople always build better businesses over time.  The consistency and persistence that they apply to prospecting will underpin their growth of quality listings and dominance into the local property area.
The best prospecting strategies take time to develop and on that basis should be seen as flexible and variable subject to the pressures of your local property market and your specialised property type.

You cannot be an expert in every property type, so on that basis you really do need to decide exactly what you do best and what you want to be known for when it comes to experience and expertise.  Top agents specialise; that's the rule.

Here are some clear prospecting strategies that should apply to your local area and business practices.

  1. Split your property market into primary and secondary zones.  The primary zone will be the area in which you will focus most of your efforts.  The secondary zone will be that area that will give you some extra business that you would normally accept.  It should be said that the secondary zone should not be too difficult to service or too far away from your office or primary territory.  
  2. Territory dominance doesn't come by spreading yourself thinly across a huge area.  In your primary zone of prospecting you should have at least 2000 properties and or businesses to work with and make contact.  It should be said that this number will vary based on size of property, your speciality, and potential transaction frequency.  For example, if you specialise in large shopping centres, you may only have 10 properties to focus your efforts into; if that is the case you should  ensure that the potential deals that you do can give you a sizeable income from the limited market.  In such limited market, be aware of the impact of other very specialised agents currently; do they already have the market under control and cornered?
  3. As a general rule, you should be seeking exclusive listings in all your presentations and sales pitches.  Open property listings are generally a waste of time given that you cannot control the property or the client.  Any marketing efforts that you devote to open listings could be totally wasted.  Now I know that some of you will say that open listings do sell and lease; yes, I know they do, but they happen more from luck than deliberate effort.  If you list something on an 'open' basis, make sure that you do not 'promise the world' to the owner of the property when it comes to results and your actions to be taken.
  4. Exclusive listings for selling and leasing property should be obtained for a reasonable length of time based on the property type and the levels of local enquiry.  You will know just how much enquiry is coming in currently and how long it takes to sell or lease a property in this market.  In most instances, it is wise to seek an exclusive listing for a period in excess of four months.  At the other end of the equation, there will be a time where an unsold or un-rented property will become stale and therefore not easy to market locally.  You don't want to keep stale listings on your books unnecessarily; it is time wasting.  Your image should be that of an agent that does the deals in a timely way.  Avoid listings that are not going to move.  If the owner of the property can be conditioned to adjust price or rent, then that is fine and the listing should then be kept for a further term of effort.
  5. The business telephone book will be a good source of leads and opportunities.  The telephone book is a convenient way for you to connect with tenants and business property owners.  It is remarkable just how many business owners will tell you who the property landlord is and how happy they are in current occupation.  This market intelligence will save you an enormous amount of time and research.  Every day you should spend some time walking the streets containing local businesses and talking to business leaders.
  6. One of the most successful marketing tools available for you today is the common business card.  You can leave your business card with any and all the people that you meet; in most cases it will reach the decision maker.  In many instances a common business card will be kept for future reference if the person or business has an interest in commercial property.  You should make it a goal of your personal marketing efforts to get your business card into the hands of at least ten new businesses every day.

If you need ideas and help with your commercial real estate prospecting, join our community of agents right here.